Published January, 1992

Stewart B. McKinney Found., Inc. v. Town Plan and Zoning Comm'n, 790 F. Supp. 1197 (D. Conn. 1992)

The plaintiff purchased a two-family home with the intent to house seven homeless HIV-positive people. After a series of hostile public meetings and inquiries, the zoning commission determined that the proposed use of the facility would require application for, and granting of, a special exception in order to be sited in the proposed area. The court determined that the public resistance to the home and the zoning commission’s inquiries about its use constituted evidence of discriminatory motive. The court also found that the commission’s interpretation of the home as requiring a special use was so unreasonable as to be evidence of discrimination. Further, the court indicated that a plaintiff need not prove that his handicap was the sole or even primary motivating factor in a decision to exclude, only that it be a factor. Consequently, the court found that the plaintiff had a disparate impact claim, finding that the defendant violated the FHA by requiring HIV-infected people to satisfy requirements that the non-handicapped did not.

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